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Re: Recommendation for a CL data structures library

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Recommendation for a CL data structures library
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:10:57 -0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100111 Thunderbird/3.0.1

On 3/25/2010 10:05 AM, David Kastrup wrote:
Licenses covering a work "as a whole" are hard to press
> when the material they cover is functionally a drop-in
> replacement of existing non-free libraries. That makes
> "mere aggregation" a really good defense.

This is completely wrong. The GPL applies to work as a whole
only when the GPL-covered work is made part of a combined
work and that combined work is copied and distributed.

Your statement sounds as if you continue to believe incorrectly
that a program which uses a dynamically linked library covered
by the GPL is subject to the GPL even when it is copied and
distributed without that library. That is not so. Copyright law
is about copying, and when a GPL-covered work is not being copied
and distributed, the GPL cannot come into play. What the program
does when it runs is not relevant for falling under the GPL because
the GPL does not restrict running covered works.

Similarly, mere aggregation is irrelevant to libraries which
are statically linked into programs. Such a combined work is
not a mere aggregation of the library and the other components.
Mere aggregation refers to including a covered work on a medium
of distribution along with other works.

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